From: James R. Winter ( winter_writes@earthlink.net)
Date: 04 Jun 2005

If you're wondering why I'm so vague with the Estleman and Valin reviews, it's because I read those books back in March before heading to New York. KILLING ORDERS was the book I took with me.

I loved the first two Warshawski books, especially DEADLOCK (and I wish someone would use that premise for a present day novel. The terrorism angle alone could spawn three or four decent books.) Most of the later ones I did on audio. I'd have liked TUNNEL VISION better if it had a different reader. Jean Smart IS Vic on audio while Pamela Hensley sounded like she was about to burst out laughing through the entire book. I digress.

KILLING ORDERS was a disappointment. The setup was good. Vic is asked by a relative she despises to clear her name of theft charges at a local church. The addition of the Dominicans, who according to Paretsky were involved in her research, struck a particularly strong chord with me as I used to attend one of the few Dominican parishes in the midwest. (It's largely a teaching order.) Then there's Vic's high school acquaintance cum rising Chicago thug, who got sucked into that godawful movie and was about the only part I liked. ("This is a nut cracker. Do you know what we do with nut crackers?")

Paretsky's politics are well-known, and in fact, I'd be disappointed if they didn't show up in a VI novel. Unfortunately, they overwhelm the book as each successive chapter had more and more memories of the sixties. It got in the way of the story for me.

I had to put it down. It's the only Warshawski book I couldn't finish. I put it aside while on the train into Manhattan one morning.* I always get bummed when I can't finish a book, especially when I like the author's other work. (That said, I'm still gonna throttle Harry Turtledove for HOW FEW REMAIN if I ever see him. Yeesh!)

But then I realized I didn't have a copy of BITTER MEDICINE and bought it at Partners & Crime during my handshake tour of New York/NJ booksellers.

Jim Winter

*OK, I admit it. Charlie Stella gave me a copy of CHEAPSKATES, and I couldn't wait to dive into it. Still, I'd have just booted Connelly down Mt. TBR a few notches. Michael would get over it.

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 04 Jun 2005 EDT